The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) promotes government accountability and transparency by providing a legal framework for individuals to request access to government documents.
This includes documents containing personal or other information, about policy making, administrative decision-making or government service delivery. Individuals can also request that ministers or agencies correct or annotate any information held about them.
Promoting and upholding information access rights is at the core of our work at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Through assisting Australian Government agencies to understand their obligations to proactively publish information and release documents under FOI, we seek to increase trust and confidence in access to government-held information.
Most Australian Government agencies are subject to the FOI Act, and must release documents in response to an FOI request unless there is an overriding reason not to do so.
Explore our website this International Access to Information Day and discover our tips and resources for government agencies.
Our FOI Essentials toolkit will help FOI decision makers understand the principles of FOI, the benefits of releasing government-held information and how the OAIC can assist you.Use the toolkit
This resource will help your agency meet your obligation to take all reasonable steps to find documents within the scope of an FOI request. It includes an editable Search Minute template and a checklist for agencies to download.See the resource
This checklist aims to help agencies identify the key steps in making a decision on a request for access to documents under the FOI Act.View the checklist
We recommend agencies consider a range of measures to ensure they can meet their statutory FOI obligations during the pandemic, including greater use of self-service or administrative access schemes and proactive publication.Learn more
The IPS requires agencies to publish a broad range of information and authorises publication of other information.Read the guidance
We answer questions frequently asked by agencies on FOI topics like searching for documents, transferring requests, lodging FOI statistics and more.See our FAQs
The FOI Act applies to Australian Government ministers and most agencies. Other Australian states and territories have equivalent legislation, as do over 120 countries worldwide.
You can find more resources by exploring our website.